The federal government spends billions and billions of dollars every year on purchases ranging from toilet paper, conference tables and training to Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle units. I have no idea what that last thing is, but Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. was recently awarded a $32,903,698 contract for that equipment by the Department of Defense.
My point is the United States Government is the world’s largest purchaser of goods and services spending more than $400 billion annually. Out of that huge procurement pie, women business owners barely get a few crumbs. Despite legislation passed in 2000 stipulating that all Federal agencies meet a five percent contracting goal for women-owned small businesses, women receive less than four percent of Federal procurement dollars.
In an effort to remedy this situation for the more than 10 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., WIPP – Women Impacting Public Policy – is providing a new program called “Give Me Five, 5%: Education and Access for Women in Federal Contracts.” A critical first step to increase the Federal procurement dollars for women-owned companies is to make sure their businesses are registered in the Central Contracting Registration (CCR) database. Currently, only 14 percent of the nearly 450,000 businesses registered are owned by women.
The CCR process can appear intimidating and time-consuming. When I asked a few women business owners why they weren’t registered, they explained they started the process, but got confused and gave up. In reality, the process is really fairly simple and quick. The Give Me Five program through WIPP is designed to help women business owners get registered on the CCR so they can gain eligibility to apply for Federal contracts. It took WIPP member, Mary Schnack, owner of Up From the Dust, only 10 minutes to complete her registration.
The “Give Me Five” program is sponsored by OPEN from American Express. For more information, email MMARKOFF@WIPP.org or visit the WIPP web site. You can also email me or visit my vweb site. SWS@sbtv.com — www.sbtv.com
Don’t miss this opportunity to get a piece of the procurement pie for your company.